A Glance at Forbidden Island

Base Game Review

Player/s: 2-4

Play Time (Box): 30mins

Play Time (Goof): 30-45mins

Producer/s: Gamewright

Designer/s: Matt Leacock


Here at The Goof Review, we pride ourselves on our in-depth reviews. However, we know people don’t always have time to read several thousand words on a game. So we’re bringing in an additional segment to our schedule called:

‘Games at a Glance’

Here we’ll talk about a couple points we like, and a couple points we didn’t, as well as whether the game is fun to play. We’ll also be able to review a few different games this way which we may not get to fully review for awhile (and glance back at some of the ones we’ve already reviewed).

So today we’re taking a glance at Forbidden Island.

I’m always reminded of the movie Up when I think of Forbidden island. It’s got that old timey Indiana Jones feel. Like something out of an old adventure comic from the 60s. The artwork could have been pulled straight from the videogame Myst.

Forbidden Island is a simple cooperative game where up to four adventurers are trying to lay claim to four legendary treasures. With one (pretty big) catch. The island is trying to kill you. Dick move Island.


The Good:

Forbidden Island is really simple to learn. It’s my go to game if I want to teach a cooperative game to kids. About a year back my little brother actually came up with the winning strategy to a roar of support from the rest of us.

On the cooperative front, you have to work together to get the cards to the right players, shore up sinking parts of the island and help react to things that happen each turn.

The best bit for me: The roles feel very unique. Playing the pilot feels entirely different to the diver. Which is exactly how it should be! (Look forward to a ranty Goof’s Guide in the future about role powers).


The Bad:

If you’re looking for a game with a bit of bite for more serious or hardcore gamers, look elsewhere (probably at its big brother, Forbidden Desert). When I say this game is easy to learn, it’s because it feels a little shallow. There’s no items, and not a lot of choices to make each turn.

God I hate tins. With a passion. The lid has come off this game and the components have gone sliding around almost every time it’s in the boot of my car. Or when I get it off the shelf. Or if someone looks at it the wrong way. Yes, okay, they’re pretty. But if it’s not doing its damn job it’s not worth it.



Forbidden Island is fun. Its simple, and probably a good filler game while you’re waiting for someone to arrive. But a few really good players are going to win this thing almost every time.

Have a game you’d like TGR to glance at? Let us know in the comments!

If you enjoyed this article then share the joy on social media so others can enjoy it too. And check out our other reviews. They’re always good for a laugh. 

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